Joel Embiid Injury Update and a Bad Week to be a Hawk
The next step in the Sixers’ journey to the NBA finals starts Sunday afternoon. At 1pm in South Philadelphia, the Sixers will play the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks, more commonly known as “Trae Young and a bunch of other bums”, have no idea what is waiting for them at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday.
Joel Embiid practiced today. According to Doc Rivers, Embiid “Went through a lot of the stuff today.” Rivers said that he wouldn’t rule out Embiid for this Sunday.
This is INCREDIBLY bad news if you’re Clint Capela, who shouldn’t be allowed to breathe the same air as Embiid, let alone be on the same court as him. Capela is averaging 15 points per game this season. Even if he plays on a bad knee, Embiid will cook Capela and make him question why he even came over to the States from Switzerland to play basketball.
Embiid can’t go game one? No problem at all. Somebody please tell Trae Young that the theatrics ended off Broadway in New York. There’s no bowing to the crowd in Philly. There’s no floaters in the lane at the buzzer against Philly. There’s no dumb mayor going on national TV talking about Trae Young in Philly. You don’t get to talk shit to Spike Lee court side this round, and I promise you, saying anything to M. Night Shyamalan would be a terrible mistake. Philly protects their own and the Sixers simply don’t lose at home. The show is over.
Most importantly, there sure as shit isn’t enough offensive firepower and defensive capabilities on this Hawks team that will make it a series against the Sixers in round two. As for the rest of the team (and by ‘team’ I mean Trae Young), they’re coming off playing the New York Knicks. The New York Knicks don’t have nearly the defense that the Sixers are capable of playing. Trae Young had Reggie Bullock and Derrick Rose guarding him. Ryan Conway could have dropped 30 on those dinosaurs. He is not ready for what Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle have for him, let alone when the Sixers mix in Danny Green and the rookie sensation Tyrese Maxey, who proved throughout round one that he thrives in the spotlight.
Let’s face facts: The Atlanta Hawks should not be playing on the same court as the Philadelphia 76ers, even without Joel Embiid.
The key to this series will be to contain Trae Young, and the Sixers have two perfect guys for the job in Matisse Thybulle and Ben Simmons. Doc Rivers stated after round one that they forced Bradley Beal to take the shots that the Sixers wanted them to make and not the shots Beal wanted to take. They will certainly do the same thing to Trae Young. From there, who’s left? Kevin Heurter? No. Lou Will? No. There’s no one else.
But wait, what about John Collins? Honestly who the fuck is John Collins? Sounds like he starred in an indie action film, probably directed by Spike Lee.
Atlanta Hawks fans? Do they even have any? We’re talking about a fan base that was more invested in Spring football games at University of Georgia rather than playoff basketball. We’re talking about the home of the Falcons who were embarrassed in the Super Bowl and never recovered. The Atlanta Braves, who haven’t been relevant since Chipper Jones. Atlanta isn’t a sports town and the Hawks aren’t a viable opponent in the second round of the playoffs for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Maybe we’ll be gentlemen again and let the Hawks hang around until game five like we did with the Wizards. The vibe in this city about the number one seed in the Eastern Conference needs to shape up. From veteran leadership with Danny Green and Dwight Howard, to the rookie providing a spark off the Bench, the Sixers will be perfectly fine against the Hawks.
Do yourself a favor. Wake up Sunday morning. Grab a beer. If you can’t stomach one after drinking your face off the night before, start with a mimosa and/or Bloody Mary and work your way back into it. When the clock strikes noon, it’s time to begin the next leg on the road to the NBA finals.
We’ll deal with the Nets or the Bucks on leg three. For now, it’s the Sixers vs Hawks, and I absolutely love our chances.
Mandatory Credit: The Philadelphia Inquirer